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Jake Shimabukuro Believes Music is Good Medicine

"If everyone played the ukulele, the world would be a better place." -Jake Shimabukuro

Jake Shimabukuro is recognized as one of the world's most exciting and innovative ukulele players and composers, having "given the ukulele a new respect altogether" (All Music Guide), as he demonstrates on his forthcoming album ‘Peace Love Ukulele,' out January 4, 2011 on Hitchhike Records.

But as his career continues to blossom, Shimabukuro, a Hawaiian, is also busy giving back to his island community, using the ukulele as his tool. He’s currently the head spokesperson for Music is Good Medicine (MIGM), a living-healthy community program that tours schools, hospitals and senior centers around Hawaii and on the US mainland, as well as in Guam, Saipan and Japan.



Shimabukuro’s belief that music is good medicine goes all the way back to his childhood. "Ever since my mother first put a ukulele in my hands at the age of four," he says, "this magical instrument has been a positive force in my life – helping to steer me away from drugs, violence and other negative influences. It fueled my passion for music, which has helped me to develop in mind, body and spirit."

He points to the therapeutic, stress-reducing benefits of playing music and says the ukulele is one of the easiest instruments to learn, as well as one of the most affordable. "This tiny, four-string instrument is a universe of joy and healing, with a childlike quality about it that returns us to our youth and energizes us."

Ana Sia at the Mishawaka Ampitheatre

Cervantes Masterpiece presents Ana Sia at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre on Friday, August 20th, 2010.  She has toured through clubs and forests all festival season long with serious stacks in the middle of nowhere.  The Electric Canyon show will feature Ana Sia leading crew including Octopus Nebula, Eskmo, and The Passage Project.

I was lucky enough to see her set at Summer camp that made arms sway, heads bob, and the same forced rush of an indoor thump to an outdoor amphitheatre.  Watching the crowd come alive is almost as enlightening as the musical experience itself.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; if you aren’t dancing half as hard as she is on stage then step back.  There will be plenty rushing forward to dance with her.

The Mishawaka Amphitheatre is like a swing set of sound, the electric canyon crew will no doubt light it up.  Ana Sia has been warming up after parties enough.  Her worldly excursions are put to sturdy declarations of bass with treble dancing over the top.  It’s as if she embodies the Virgo through her music.  It’s time for the first lady of euphoric rhythm to lead the pack.  Her response to the crowd is always posed, graceful, and delicate with prayer hands in peaceful association.

Ana Sia co-creates her show with the audience.  The word puppeteer has a negative connotation, yet such a familiar feel at an Ana Sia show.  It’s not negative when you see how she handles the power of the beat.  Its fun like a puppet show, her music is beckoning you, “let me pull your strings.”  As hard as your feet will push you, the beat controls the strings that makes souls sing.